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Bitcoin course for beginners 2 - 04/11

Network design.



Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network architecture that anyone can reach and use on the Internet.

The term peer-to-peer, (also P2P), comes from the fact that in a distributed network, there is no centre, no third party controlling the nodes. In a centralized network, the only way nodes can communicate is through the centralized point of failure where a small number of people control all the traffic, the decision making and the data flowing into the system.

In a decentralized system, since there is no centralization, the nodes are forced to communicate directly with each other, there is no hierarchy within the network, the nodes are all equal and provide the same job. As you will see in the video, P2P networks are very resilient, decentralized, and open.

From a hacking point of view, they are quite impossible to take down.

On paper, obviously, they can be hacked but we will see that for the bitcoin network is nearly impossible to do it.

Nodes may take on different roles depending on the functionality they are supporting in the network. You might come across the term “Full Node”. A bitcoin full node runs all the functions available on the bitcoin network, namely: routing, the blockchain database, mining, and wallet services. It also keeps up to date the copies of the blockchain. Full nodes are constantly spying (verifying) on each other in an autonomously and authoritatively fashion.

Imagine you want to run a full node. Once online, your node will have to discover other bitcoin nodes to become active. Then, it will have to connect to one of them. Remember that the Internet is borderless, therefore, the geographic location of nodes you want to connect with is irrelevant. The selection is totally random.

What do nodes do?

They are very busy: they validate and spread transactions and blocks and keep and protect connections, in a nutshell, they maintain the cohesion of the system.


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